What Home Buyers Should Know About Appraisals

by Kate Kennedy 02/02/2020

Home appraisals are an important part of the buying and selling process. Lenders use appraisals to make sure that the home is worth what the borrower is paying. A home’s appraisal value is based on a number of factors, all of which we’ll discuss in this post.

Whether you’re a buyer, seller, or are just learning about the process of buying a home so you’ll be better equipped in the future, this article is for you.

How is a home appraisal different from an inspection?

While home appraisals and inspections are performed by licensed or certified professionals, they have to different functions. An inspection ensures the safety of a home, as well as whether or not it will need repairs in the immediate or near future.

Appraisals, on the other hand, aim to value a home based on its property value, the size of the property, and the location of the property. The condition of the home is a factor in valuing a home, which is why some people confused appraisals with inspections.

Who pays for appraisals?

Like most closing costs, a home appraisal is a burden that falls on the buyer. Typically, the lender you choose will work with will actually order the appraisal. The cost, which usually amounts to a few hundred dollars, can be added to your closing fees. You can find the cost for an appraisal listed on the Closing Disclosure document provided by your chosen lender.

Which factors determine the home’s value?

To appraise the house itself, appraisers will look at the condition of the home. They’ll also weigh the features of the home in their valuation--things like the number of bedrooms and bathrooms, for example.

However, the two key characteristics of a home that contribute to its value are its age and size.

Which external factors contribute to the home’s value?

As you might suspect, the location of your home matters greatly when it comes to appraisals. Homes are appraised based off of average prices for their neighborhood and region.

Other location factors include how accessible the home is, if it’s located on a waterfront, and whether it has desirable views.

When does a home get appraised?

While your experience may vary based on your specific circumstances, most appraisals occur after a buyer has signed a purchase contract. One this is done, the lender will take the steps necessary to order and process the appraisal.

How long is the home appraisal process?

Once the buyer has signed a purchase contract, the appraisal is usually completed and processed within 7 days. The appraisal report will be sent to the lender. This report contains the appraised value of the home. Buyers are entitled to a copy of this report, and should keep one for their own records.

About the Author
Author

Kate Kennedy

 

Kate Kennedy is welcomed by the Heyler Realty team as a sales professional specializing in the Westside of Los Angeles. Kate has developed the professional acumen specifically designed to advocate on the behalf of her real estate clientele. Living in Santa Monica, Kate appreciates first hand how special it is to live by the sea, and is committed to helping her clients find their own perfect place in the sun.

Having been raised the daughter of a lobsterman, Kate learned early on what “hard work” truly means.  Coupling her inherited strong work ethic with her entrepreneurial spirit, Kate decided to break out on her own and leave the snowy Maine coast bound for the sunny shores of California. 

To say there was a bit of culture shock was an understatement, but Kate is the type of a person that likes to make big bold moves, and embracing this challenge was no different.  It didn’t take long before Kate had settled herself in Santa Monica, finding the small town feel familiar and comforting- even if the ocean was on the “wrong” side.

 Once she established her new home, Kate quickly went to work building her business, “Kate K My Way.” For well over a decade, Kate has been running her exclusive personal assistant business which was built entirely from client referrals. Kate’s desire to help people and make a difference on a personal level is what made her stand out among the masses.  Her no-nonsense East Coast practicality is what helped her to get the job done, and done correctly. Kate employs these same principles to her work as a Realtor.

Living in Santa Monica and proudly serving her community as a Board Member of the Ocean Park Association, Kate appreciates first hand how special it is to live by the sea, and  is committed to helping her clients find their own perfect place in the sun. Her commitment to her clients is unwavering.   Kate’s communication skills, attention to detail and ability to focus on the big picture help to ensure easy transactions and positive results for her clients.  Above all Kate prides herself on her honesty, integrity and ability to bring good humor to all of her business dealings.

Outside the Office

Kate and her husband, Steve, live in the Ocean Park neighborhood of Santa Monica, and enjoy taking full advantage of all that west coast seaside living has to offer. As cheesy as it may sound, Kate really DOES love long walks on the beach, but you will have to get up very early in the morning to catch her down by Tower 26. Kate’s other interests include cooking for friends, attending local theatre, gardening, and reading science fiction and Stephen King novels.

Professional Accomplishments

Five Star Professional Rising Star Award 2019